Everyone wants to do well at their career, and the most driven among us may even vow, quite earnestly, that they’re going to be “the absolute best” at whatever it is they do.
Unfortunately, going from strength to strength in your professional life, landing promotions, and dramatically increasing your pay on a regular basis, is more easily said than done. Sometimes, the progress of your career may be hampered by unfair, if not downright illegal treatment that requires the intervention of employment law experts such as Ogletree Deakins.
At other times, you’ll fall into a state of complacency without even realizing it, and spend years on autopilot as un-seized opportunities recede into the background.
None of that is great. So, here are some tips for going from strength to strength in your professional life instead.
#1 Adopt an “extreme ownership” mindset and do the best work you can
The former U.S. Navy SEALs Jocko Willink and Leif Babin have made quite a name for themselves in the world of leadership training, first via their leadership training company Echelon Front, and secondly via their popular series of books on applying military leadership principles to business – most notably, “Extreme Ownership.”
The basic idea behind the concept of extreme ownership is that you never make excuses, you never try and pass the blame, and you always seek out avenues to get the job done as well as you can – if not better.
Adopting an “extreme ownership” mindset in your professional life can help you to resist the lure of excuse making and under-productivity. If you are always the hardest working and most accountable person in the room, promotions are much more likely to find you.
#2 Always be on the lookout for the next big break, or a better offer
The creator of the Dilbert cartoons, Scott Adams, shares a bit of advice in his autobiography that he was given as a young man by a successful businessman he encountered on an airplane.
The advice was “doing your job isn’t your job, looking for a better job is your job.”
While you should, of course, do your work to the best of your ability, there are plenty of instances where just getting your head down and working will not guarantee advancement in your career or pay grade.
To ensure that you are always moving “up,” you should always be looking up, and seeking out the next big break, or better job offer on the horizon.
#3 Be willing to engage in necessary confrontation
There’s a psychological character trait known as “agreeableness,” that sounds nice, but that might actually be the bane of your existence.
Agreeable people earn less money than disagreeable people. The reason seems to be that agreeable people are disinclined to engage in necessary confrontation and to push in favor of their own interest in the workplace.
To ensure that you aren’t passed over for promotion, you actually need to ask for it, push for it, and be willing to engage in necessary (but diplomatic) confrontation.